Finding and hiring the right person for your roles can be challenging – having that confidence in knowing you’ve got the right person.
I really do believe that CVs can cover up some huge red flags, or if you’re not the best at writing (and this is a trait of many accountants including myself) then it may not sell you and your skills as it should. So at PPF we’ve been asking for video’s with CVs for a while – so we get to see the person behind the piece of paper (or Word doc/PDF!).
Over the last year or so though, we’ve taken this further. We’ve really looked at what we want, and how we can get the information we need to make the right decision of who to hire.
So here’s our current process. I’m sure we’ll continue to tweak it over the coming years – but for now, we’re pretty pleased with it, and it’s working well!
We have a careers page on our website with information about who we are as an employer – and share our process openly for candidates to see, so they know what to expect.
Step 1 – Application Form & Video
Our application form asks questions to uncover a little more about the person behind the CV, to see if they would be a good fit. Accompanied with a short video this helps us to really see that person and their personality. The video doesn’t have to be a blockbuster – but it helps us to see who someone is, and for them to then stand out.
Step 2 – Team Evaluation
The whole team review the applications and videos and we decide who to take further.
Step 3 – Technical Test and Sample Blog
The technical test checks some of the key skills they will need to do the job – and we have various tests for different levels of role. We also ask for a sample blog and video as this will be part of their role – no matter what kind of role it is – everyone gets involved in marketing from day one, so it’s an important part of our process to make sure that 1. the candidate knows this, and 2. it’s something the candidate can do.
Accounting can be such a foreign language to business owners – so we’re making sure our potential candidates are able to explain things simply and in a way our clients can understand. Again, like the video, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but something where we can see the potential. And, it’s usually a subject relating to their role – so another test that they can do what their CV says they can!
Step 4 – Team Interview
The team will then do a Zoom call together with the candidate – which is a more informal call, to get to know the candidate a little, and to see how they fit in. I feel this is an important step as no matter how much I like the person – if they don’t fit in with the team it will never work as they’re the people they will be working with daily!
Step 5 – References
We will then request references – from 2 people. Obviously as they’re likely to still be working we don’t expect one from their current employer – but it’s good to hear from someone else what they’re like to work with etc. We also ask for tips on how to work with them. This is your chance to not only make sure your thoughts on them are confirmed, but also to ask how to get the best out of your potential new employee. So make the most of it!
Step 6 – DISC Assessment
At this point we’ll also carry out a DISC assessment to understand more about their personality style. There are no right or wrong answers with these – and we use them more to understand how to communicate effectively, how they would like to be taught etc. We have found these to be so useful when building our team and making sure we get a mix of personalities to create a fabulous team – it would be boring if we’re all the same! But again – it helps to make sure the candidate has the right attitude for the role – i.e. for accountants we need attention to detail – so it’s pretty important that this is a personality trait that is strong in all of our accounting team – but in other areas we need strong communication or creative skills.
Step 7 – Final Interview with the CEO
The last step is an interview with myself. And by this stage it’s normally pretty clear that if they get this far, then the candidate will be highly likely to be offered the role. It’s more a case of digging a little deeper to make sure they are definitely the right person, iron out any little pink flags, and then discussing terms etc. However this is how we approach the interview – this approach may not be right for everyone, but it is for us!
The team is involved and feeding back to me at every stage of our process, and I trust them and their opinions. So there would need to be something major to get to that stage and then not hire the candidate!
And I’m sure you’re thinking – wow that’s intense! But it works! We’ve had amazing (or so we initially thought) candidates apply and as we’ve gone through the process we’ve realised they’re not as good – or not as good a fit – as we first thought!
Here’s what our latest team member, Laura, thought of the process:
“It was a thorough process. It took a lot of input as a candidate to apply and get through the process (in comparison to some where it is just submit a CV, and then first interview and second interview). But, it made me realise that you did care about getting the right person.”
And that is exactly what it’s designed to do!
As I said earlier, and with most things, this is a work in progress. And what works for us, may not be right for you. But you’re welcome to pinch any of this and adapt to use in your process. Any questions? We’re happy to help! Drop us an email on email@example.com and we’ll get back to you!